Rescuing Aggressive Breeds

My fiance and I have recently taken home two puppies from the shelter nearby! One of them is a black lab, he is 1 1/2 years old. The other is a mix breed, 11 weeks today, Tay. The problem I am having is that the dog appears to be a mix of, Akita, Rotti, and Pit bull. If this is true then I worry that the person was perhaps breeding fighting dogs? What other reasons would there have been to breed those types of dogs? I want to know what other people think I should do so that I can make the best decision for both my puppy and society!

He is a brilliant dog! He sits, shakes, sits pretty, stands, comes, and is paper trained already (we are working on outside potty training). So in all, he is a genius dog. Though he is OVERLY aggressive towards other dogs and when I try to stop him from being to aggressive he will bite at me... we are working to stop that by discipline him. My mother, who lives with us, used to own two pits and one bit me as a child so she is afraid of dogs. Any suggestions based on this info?

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Thanks,
Bliss from NH

September 9, 20060 found this helpful

Hi Bliss!!! Do you know who Cesar Millan is? I've seen him on Oprah several times and he has a show in the states called the Dog Whisperer. He would say that you're not the pack leader for your dogs. Here's his site: http://www.dogpsychologycenter.com/ He really has amazing success with training dogs. God bless you and I hope all goes well with training your dogs.

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September 10, 20060 found this helpful

Thanks for taking care of these puppies!

Most "aggressive" breeds, are MADE to be so. They are usually not born aggressive. If you just take care and love the pup, it might not display the aggression that you are fearing.

My boyfriend has a pitt - it is the sweetest, most loving animal in the WORLD. NO aggression at all.

Good luck!

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September 10, 20060 found this helpful

I agree.. read Ceasar Milan's book and get the puppy trained immediately! It makes such a huge difference in your life and your dog's. Your puppy is establishing that he is the pack leader because no one yet has set those boundaries. If you can afford it, try to find a trainer who will work with both you and your dog following similar techniques you read in the book. Training him and being consistent will be the best thing you can do. Best of luck to you and your new puppy.

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September 10, 20060 found this helpful

Hi Bliss,

I have a pit bull dog that is not at all agressive. The reason for this is proper training and responsible ownership that he was exposed to as a puppy. He is in the yard with my other dog who is an Australian Shepherd, and is actually intimidated by her. The Aussie is definitely the Alpha dog.

It is true that the original reason that these dogs were bred was to be agressive, but most of the time this does not have to be, if the owner is a responsible owner. Some of the suggestions that I have seen and that I would recommend are:

1) Be sure to take him to obedience school, or at least learn to do this yourself. The obedient dog is an asset to the community, not a menace, no matter what breed.

2) Socialize him at an early age. This just means that you will need to get him around people, and teach him how to act when in a group of people. This is best begun with several close friends that know what you are trying to do with the dog. He will grow up friendlier, and will not be afraid of or as aggressive to other humans.

3) Take the necessary precautions to make your neighbors feel safe, and let them know that you take dog ownership seriously. Walk him on a leash at all times. Also, when he is not on a leash, make sure that he is in a fenced area, or the equivalent of that, so that they know that they have nothing to fear with him in their neighborhood. If you do not do this, you can have a hysterical neighbor make your life and your dog's life very hard, and this is so preventable with some initial concern shown on your part.

4)Be careful about the dog that is too agressive with other dogs. You may be right, it may have been bred for fighting, and if so, it will be difficult if not impossible to leave it with other dogs. You should check with a dog professional, and also use your own judgement as to whether or not he can be left with other dogs without hurting them.

5) Remember that it is not necessarily the breed of dog, it is the irresponsible dog owners that do not train the dog correctly, and do not take care of their dogs with love and compassion, that make it hard for the rest of us and for the dogs in question.

6) Any children that you know should be educated about how to act around any dog. It is not just the pit bull or the rotti that bites. Most other breeds will bite when provoked, and we need to be mindful of protecting our children by arming them with knowledge.

7) And finally, I would suggest spaying or neutering your dog so as to not add more poor dogs to the already long list of dogs that have no home. Again, responsible dog ownership is the key to happiness for your dog, and the dog community as a whole.

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September 12, 20060 found this helpful

Hi Bliss...

I bought a Pet Halti from Pet Smart to use on my own two year old puppy, named Bliss.. LOL..it works like a horse halter, it gets the dog's attention by dragging the nose down painlessly. I used the Halti with Bliss during walks and when she was acting up inside. She is a black lab/greyhound mix and is 70lbs big and strong. I hope our advise helps your situation. We also rescued both of our dogs.

hugs..Ladonna

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September 12, 20060 found this helpful

Caesar is not the best trainer. He encourages people to dominate their dogs using outdated methods including physical punishment. The best method is rewards. There are many humane trainers available.

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September 13, 20060 found this helpful

I absolutely do not agree with the comment about Cesar not being a good trainer. I have watched his show and I just love it. He is obviously successful with the dogs. Also, I have never seen him be cruel with any of the dogs he is working with. My vet would recommend him and his methods, I am sure! Read his book and watch the show!

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September 13, 20060 found this helpful

Caesar's methods are known to work on animals that have failed to learn appropriate behavior by other training means. I'd definitely give them a try. I had a Rottie. He was the sweetest, most gentle dog with a wonderful temperment, not to mention really bright. Please don't give up on the dogs as long as there's hope for them.

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September 13, 20060 found this helpful

Study Cesaer Milan's techniques! He does NOT recommend physical punishment other than strong body language...to me physical punishment includes rolled newspapers and harsh hitting...I don't believe the guest poster has actually observed Cesaer's success. The best advice Cesaer has is to EXERCISE your pets; the more energy they have, the more they need to take a good tiring walk to release their pent-up energies. A well exercised dog has less energy and frustration to use on other dogs. PLEASE check out Cesaer Milan's website, books, DVD, or TV show (The Dog Whisperer on the National Geographic stations I think).

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September 14, 20060 found this helpful

We had a cocker spaniel who was psycho! He would bite anyone for anyreason or no reason. We finally got a trainer who came to our house & he had us put him on a choke chain & a piece of rope from the loop - you are suppose to pull the rope when they are doing something wrong. This worked wonderfully for us. He also bit out of fear, he was a very submissive dog, but very scared of everything. when we got home he'd get so excited he'd pee - on his back straight up in the air - got the pant leg everytime - or worse if you were bent over. to stop this we were told to ignore him the forst 15 min of getting home & then greet him. & not to make leaving a big deal, just go w/o the g'bys etc...

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September 17, 20060 found this helpful

My family and I constantly watch Cesar Millan! We also visit his site daily... we walk the puppy and run with him (as my fiance loves to jog) and he is very good on the leash... the only thing is that he bites and bites and bites if you do anything that uspets him... including getting him off of the couch! My mother is afraid of him but I know I can't be... so I hold my ground and tell him no... we are going to puchase a muzzle soon but I can't stand to think that that has to be the last resort! If anyone crosses this again please let me know of other methods the Cesar way works very well on my older dog but not the puppy... Also I am hoping that when he gets fixed he will be less aggressive? I love my puppy with all of my heart and when he is nice he is what keeps my world spinning! thank you!

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September 20, 20060 found this helpful

My husband and I have a lot of experience with aggressive breeds. I would strongly urge you to enroll this dog in an obedience class. He must not be allowed to ever bite you or even slightly protest with even a small growl when you give him a command. If he does, your discipline must be swift and severe so that he knows you are the alpha of the relationship. This coupled with a lot of affection to build his love for you so he wants to please you will be the best course you could take with this dog. If you do not get control of this dog when he is young, he will one day hurt you or someone else. You will always have to be diligent and never let your discipline slip. When you are sure you have control of him, set about to socialize him with other dogs and as many people, sounds, and situations as you can. If all else fails and he still is overly aggressive, you may have to take steps to ensure that he does not have opportunity to reach other dogs/people by fencing. Never, ever chain a dog outside - this will increase his aggression. And lastly, if you feel you are unable to do the above, it is time to find this dog a new home with someone more disciplinarian in attitude.

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